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Watseka citizens ask questions, voice concerns about proposed sale of water system

The proposed sale of Watseka's waste water treatment plant and the operation of the city's water system drew residents to city hall Tuesday evening. Questions were asked about Aqua Illinois' offer to buy the Watseka sytem for $10.5 million. 

Aqua Illinois' proposal would include upfront money for improvements and upgrades to aging infrastructure.  But local citizens are not too keen about an outside firm, like Aqua Illinois, taking over thes system and the city losing control of the operations.

Both Aqua Illinois and city officials say no matetr what happens, local water rates will increase and double what's being paid now.

Several residents say they'd gladly pay the double rate and learn to manage, if the city srtill owned and controlled the system.  

About 75 people filed into city hall to listen, ask questions and voice concerns at the public hearing, scheduled by the Watseka City Council.

Mayor Bob Harwood provided background information about the water system, including costs and expected upgrades needed.  The mayor said no decisions have been made and all factors will be studied.  

The city has not been actively involved in operation its water and waste-water treatment system for 18 years.  The system is managed by ERH Enterprises of Westville (IL), which is currently under contract with the city.

94.1 WGFA 



  • Parent Category: News

State Police educate about dangers of speeding

Illinois State Police will have special patrols today (Wed) as part of an effort to raise awareness that speed can be deadly. Air-patrols and radar will assist troopers and other participating officers in cracking down on speeders.

Trooper Tracy Lillard says that in 2014, speed was the reason that resulted with nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities in the state. The 348 deaths for the year represents one life lost every 25 hours.

The extra details will be on State and U.S. Highways, city streets and county roads throughout the district.
Trooper Lillard notes approximately 16-percent of the speed-related fatalities in Illinois were comprised of pedestrians and cyclists.

Police encourage motorists to do their part at all times by obeying the posted speed limit.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Cabery man arrested after threatening officers

Police arrested a 43-year-old Cabery man Tuesday after he threatened to shoot and kill as many officers as possible.
Jess Hummell is facing a preliminary charge of aggravated assault.

Kankakee County Sheriff Mike Downey said deputies, with assistance from Ford and Livingston County sheriff deputies, responded to Main Street in Cabery following a report of a person with a gun. That was at 1:23 am.

Hummell allegedly pointed a gun at a person and made threatening statements toward police saying he would harm them. The Daily-Journal reported Hummell asked someone to call police so he could, "shoot them all and make history."

Sheriff Downey added, "This type of incident is a perfect example of how the environment, for which our law enforcement officers respond, is growing more and more unstable and dangerous. I commend our officers for their professional response and thank Livingston and Ford Counties, as well as the Cabery Fire Department, for their assistance."

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Kankakee shootings continue to mount

The number of shooting incidents in Kankakee have kept police investigators busy and there’s little help from victims, who refuse to cooperate.

Three weekend shootings that injured eight has brought the number of nonfatal shootings in the city this year to 24.

Two men were shot early Sunday morning. Several cars were seen fleeing when officers arrived. The Daily-Journal reported there were many people in the street and sidewalk but "no one was willing to talk," according to the report.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Iroquois Livestock Sale brings $119,380

The annual livestock sale closed the Iroquois County 4-H and Agricultural Fair Monday. Buyers again showed support for the 600 plus 4-Hers and their projects. The sale generated $119,380 dollars.

The sale price was down slightly from the 2015 event, which brought $122,781.

Livestock Superintendent John Brassard said “the sale is what it’s all about, and it’s great to see the continued support for the 4-H and FFA projects that the kids work so hard on all year long.”

The bidders and the volunteer auctioneers also get a pat-on-the-back for their support.

The five-day run of the fair was plagued with hot, humid weather. But officials say it all went well. Attendance topped 71,400 at the crescent City fairground.

94.1 WGFA